I always enjoy a long layover in certain cities as it gives us a chance to go into town for a quick bit of sight-seeing or shopping but not have to fork out for a hotel. The best layovers are when you arrive in the morning and depart in the evening. Here are a few we had last year.
Singapore – not yet blogged but we went to the Jurong Bird Park.
These layovers don’t always go to plan. Last year we had planned on a 12 hour layover in Beijing so we could go to the Great Wall on the way home from Europe. Singapore Airlines had a schedule change and rebooked us on a flight leaving 2 hours after we arrived but they left our final leg alone from Singapore to Brisbane so we now had a long, boring NIGHT layover. I didn’t want to fork out for a hotel and the timing was such that we wouldn’t have been able to do or see anything. We just wanted to get the next flight home but guess what? The ticket was issued by US Airways while they were still in Star Alliance but the change came after they switched to OneWorld. I didn’t want to mess up the ticket and on one level I was at least grateful SQ rebooked us instead of stranding us.
I did call and try to get SQ to move us to the 11pm flight so we didn’t have to stay overnight and could get home in the morning but they wouldn’t do any changes because it was a US ticket.
Once we arrived, I tried one last ditch attempt. We went straight to the transit desk with boarding passes in hand and asked if there was any way to get on the earlier flight. Much to our relief, there were 2 last seats in business class on the red-eye to Brisbane! We were spared 12 hours in the albeit pleasant Krisflyer Lounge and arrived home (with luggage) in the morning after a good night’s sleep.
Moral of the story: It never hurts to ask. Airlines can’t change another airline’s ticket before departure but once a boarding pass has been issued and the ticket is in their control, you might get lucky!